National falls awareness day, on 23 June, will focus on improving safety measures to prevent falls by older people on buses.
Age Concern and Help the Aged aim to work with bus companies to combat a fear of falling through safety tips to be distributed to older passengers. Lynn Sutcliffe, vice chair of Agile, the CSP’s clinical interest group for physios working with older people, said: ‘Once an older person has fallen or had a near miss, it can have a major impact on their ability to carry out functional activities and enjoy leisure activities and that also will affect their emotional well being. ‘Older people are major users of bus services and we should ensure that we do everything possible to ensure they have the physical ability and confidence to continue to use this public service on a regular basis.’ Physiotherapists could devise balance and strength training programmes for individual patients and in some areas were able to integrate getting on and off buses into their treatment programmes. ‘Some physiotherapists work alongside clinical psychologists in falls management programmes where the aim is to increase patients’ confidence alongside increasing their balance and strength, resulting in increased independence,’ Ms Sutcliffe added.
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